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Earthwork specifications and the Geotechnical Engineer

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I have been reviewing a Geotechnical report with respect to the impact of
the recommendations on my project and have been wondering how Geotechnical
engineers understand their scope of services.

Many Geotechnical engineers prepare their report listing their
recommendations, but leave it to others to write the earthwork and related
specifications, while some write the earthwork specification.  In even one
instance the Geotechnical engineer actually produced a drawing for the
construction documents that defined the extent of a soil remediation

What I find baffling is the attitude on the part of a significant number
who strongly resist involvement in the preparation of the earthwork
specifications yet they are actively involved during construction,
monitoring the work and defining the extent of the earthwork.

A common attitude seems to be that everything has been said in their
Geotechnical report and the contractor should follow their report.  This is
at odds with the fact that Geotechnical reports are typically provided only
for reference but are not made a part of the contract documents.  Thus the
contractor is only legally responsible to do the work defined in the
specifications and the drawings. Thus if the earthwork specification is not
well written, the owner could be responsible for an unnecessary extra if
the geotech tries to enforce the recommendations in his report.

It is my belief that most Geotechnical reports are not written clear and
unambiguous enough to serve as contract documents.  

While the Geotechnical engineer typically reviews the contract documents I
believe that this process will likely not produce as good of a product as
if the Geotech wrote the specification himself. In addition I would expect
he would spend less time overall if he based the project earthwork
specification on his in-house master specification.

I would be interested in comments from Geotechnical Engineers on the above
thoughts.  In addition I would be interested in different practices in
different parts of the country.

Mark Gilligan

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